Defensive end sparks Tarrant win

The Shelby County Wildcats built a 10-0 lead in the first half and trailed 22-17 in the beginning of the final period before losing to 3A power Tarrant last Friday night at SCHS.

That was before Tarrant defensive end David Gaines took over in the final 7 minutes of the contest.

&uot;We started the game great,&uot; SCHS head coach Geoff Walters said. &uot;But we made mistakes later that cost us. We regained our composure, and I was proud of that, but we have to work to not make those mistakes when we get into region play.&uot;

Gaines broke through the SCHS line and blocked a punt, which Tarrant recovered at the Shelby County 27-yard line. The turnover led to the game-winning touchdown as Tarrant came from behind for the 28-17 win.

Over the next 6:30 Gaines sacked SCHS quarterback Dane Vansant 3 straight plays and twice later in the quarter. Gaines finished the night with a blocked punt, five sacks, 11 tackles and four assists. His sacks accounted for 33 yards in losses.

SCHS opened the scoring when Marc Lemley intercepted a Tarrant pass and returned it to the 20-yard line. Three plays later Michael Gaiters found the end zone from 9 yards out. Eric Hernandez’ PAT gave SCHS Wildcats an early 7-0.

A second turnover led to Shelby County’s second score, a 25-yard Hernandez field goal. SCHS fell on a fumble at its own 41-yard line. The field goal capped a 59-yard SCHS drive and gave the Wildcats a 10-0 lead.

Tarrant scored 22 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 22-10 lead into the locker room at the half. Quarterback Kenny Padgett scored on a 5-yard run and scored the two-point conversion to cut the Shelby lead to 10-8.

Paul Reese put Tarrant up for good on a 17-yard scoring run.

Vansant threw an interception on SCHS’ next possession and Padgett padded the Tarrant lead on a 9-yard scamper. Padgett then connected on a two-point conversion pass to put Tarrant up 22-10.

SCHS cut the Tarrant lead, capping a 67-yard, 12-play drive with a touchdown. Vansant connected with Rico Crumpton on a 12-yard scoring pass.

Cook burned the SCHS defense with 113 yards rushing for Tarrant. SCHS’ defense held Tarrant to just 35 total yards in the second half. Sean McKinley recorded 12 tackles on the night to lead the Wildcat defense.

Vansant finished the night 10-of-20 passing for 93 yards with a score and Gaiters led the ground attack with 48 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.

SCHS opens region play with Moody on the road Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m